Game of the Night
VCU Rams vs. Davidson Wildcats
VCU (15-5, 7-0 A 10) is one of the hottest teams in the nation right now, let alone the Atlantic 10. After starting the season 5-5, the Rams have rattled of 10 straight, including 7 in conference play. At the top of the A-10 standings, VCU feels as if it can’t be beat, but Davidson (12-6, 4-3 A 10) will have something to say about that when it plays host on Friday night. Can JeQuan Lewis and the Rams stay undefeated in conference play, or will the Wildcats get that key win that they’ve been searching for all season?
Davidson is coming off a recent win over Richmond last Monday that featured a 34 point performance from someone other than Jack Gibbs. Peyton Aldridge stepped up and had a career night for the Wildcats, leading them to a 78-70 road win over the Spiders. It was just the kind of road win that Davidson needed given their recent loss to Saint Louis. Now at 4-3 in the conference, Davidson has to realize that it’s make-or-break on Friday night. This is the time for the Wildcats to make their move up the conference standings. A win over VCU would be huge in that regard, and if the Wildcats can manipulate their way past VCU’s defense, they might just have a shot. It all starts with Jack Gibbs. The junior is averaging 24.8 points per game this season and has meant so much for this Wildcats team. Get him going, and Davidson has a chance.
VCU, despite finding so much success in these last ten games, really hasn’t gotten much of a test away from home. The Rams were able to beat crosstown rival Richmond away from home, as well as St. Joseph’s, but their only other road victory in their last 10 games came against Saint Louis. 8 of VCU’s 10 recent wins have come at home. A game at Belk Arena will certainly be a change of pace for the Rams. But if VCU’s defense keeps to its usual ways, the Rams should be able to leave North Carolina with another good win. They rank second in the nation in steal percentage and have had no trouble dismantling opponent defenses this season. JeQuan Lewis has been great in conference play as well. The junior had 26 points, 7 assists, and 0 turnovers in the Rams’ most recent win over St. Bonaventure. He’s been unstoppable in conference play this year.
All in all, we should have a great game in Davidson on Friday night. Both of these teams will duke it out on Friday night for a chance to get a momentum-building win. Kenpom projects an 83-80 victory for the Rams and also gives VCU a 63% chance of winning. That being said, don’t count out the Wildcats. Jack Gibbs and Peyton Aldridge just might have something to say about that 10 game winning streak of VCU.